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Don’t Overlook the Importance of Middleware to Database Application Performance

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Middleware to Database Application Performance

April 14, 2009 0 Comments

In this podcast Rob Steward explains why architects, designers, programmers, or DBAs have overlooked the middleware to improve database performance, and why he wrote The Data Access Handbook to help educate the community on the middleware’s importance. The podcast runs for 2:42.

To listen to the podcast, please click on the following link: http://dataaccesshandbook.com/media/Rob6.mp3

Podcast text:

Why was there such latency in focusing on middleware for these performance and connectivity issues?

Rob Steward:

Well I think that the reason many people overlook middleware network as a performance issues is because you can walk into Barns & Noble, or any Boarders, or you can go on Amazon, and you’ll see book after book after book written on how to tune those databases. And you can go to lots and lots of sessions and seminars, and entire conferences built on how do I tune my Oracle database? Or how do I tune my SQL server database? So what you hear as an architect, designer, programmer, or as a DBA is that all the problems occur on the database. And so that’s what the focus has been in our industry. In fact, there is a whole industry built around tuning databases. We all know somebody, who that’s their job. They may be a consultant that gets hired for a couple of months and look over somebody’s database configuration and tuning, and figure that out. Granted, that’s a very important thing. You do need to tune your database.

What’s not been out there is the general knowledge of what the impact of middleware can actually be. Now I sell software. I work for a software company that makes database connectivity, which is part of why I know all these things about the middleware, but I see it over and over. Now I’ve sold a lot of software because that middleware is actually the problem, and not the database.

And again I think the reason why that people haven’t realized it – or as much as they should – is because everything you read, and if you listen to the experts, they’re going to tell you all your problems on your database. Then if they can’t solve it by tuning, or doing the things that they do, they’re going to say you need better hardware. Well I’ve seen hundreds and thousands of times, literally, that that’s not the answer. The actually problem is in that middleware layer.

So I think people tend to learn, but they learn it the hard way. They’ve learned that they’re application doesn’t perform well enough. They’ve done what all the experts say. They may have spent millions of dollars hiring people to come in to try to tune their environment, and it still doesn’t work. And the reason it doesn’t work, again, is because that’s not where their problem was, or it’s where a small part of their problem was.

I guess I would sum it up by saying it is education. And again, the reason I wrote a book on the subject is because there’s just not any information out there, and there’s not people talking about what kind of impact middleware can have.

Rob Steward

View all posts from Rob Steward on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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